This is a book aimed at fairly young children: I think I’d probably have enjoyed it most when I was about 7 or 8. Our two heroines, Tamzin and Rissa, aged 10/11, are very keen on ponies and both long to have one of their own. However, their families can’t afford them – although it’s *not* one of those annoying books in which comfortably-off kids carry on as if they’re practically on the breadline! They offer to help out at a local riding school which is temporarily operating in their seaside town during the summer holidays, and have lots of fun and a few adventures/misadventures riding the ponies along the beach.
In the middle of it all, there’s a shipwreck. The author, as a teenager, witnessed a shipwreck, in which a close friend (possibly her boyfriend) was killed, and, for whatever reason, chose to include one in this book. Happily, everyone survives in this case, although the ship itself goes down.
Then, rather conveniently, the family of a girl who was injured in a fall from her pony decide that they want the pony out of the way but don’t want any money for it, so, hey presto, Tamzin gets her pony. It seems rather unfair that Rissa doesn’t get one as well, but Tamzin does say that she’ll share.
I did read some pony books, especially the Jinny series, as a kid, but I preferred school stories, mystery/adventure books, and (despite being a fat clumsy oaf who only managed a few months of ballet lessons before giving up on the grounds of being useless!) ballet books. However, I think I’d have quite liked this one – but, as I’ve said, I think it’s for fairly young children.